The Curse and the Blessing

The Curse

They hoe, backs curved up towards the sun, calloused hands gripping the tool, bent over the hard earth. Like question marks scattered over a barren landscape, their bodies warp to the demands of fruitless earth. Thin and tenacious, wiry muscles strain with each blow to the solid ground. The sun is merciless as it beats down, drying and blackening once gentle skin. Sweat taunts the hope of coolness and salts the eyes. The ground is cursed, the work is cursed. They labor for nothing, because it does not rain.

The Blessing

Clouds move in with glorious gray, lit behind by the benevolent sun. The horizon is calm and bright like the quiet eyes of a wondering child. The world grows dark and full of comfort – a hush falls over the land. Men stand with upturned eyes, praying for the merciful waters to fall. Women rush to bring in the peppers and clothes they laid out in the noonday heat. A pregnant pause, and then a low rumble. The miracle of life is bestowed as the heavens break open and it begins to rain.

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2 thoughts on “The Curse and the Blessing

  1. Now that exactly represents how I have been feeling lately! Looking from where I sit at work each day, on the edge of Lake Victoria, I have seen the grass shrivel and go brown over the last few months without rain. But now thick dark clouds are rolling in from the lake, and the smell! The smell of rain on hot parched earth, there is nothing quite like it.

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